Turkish PM Erdoğan tries to cool Israeli rift

Turkish PM Erdoğan tries to cool Israeli rift

Turkey would continue relations with Israel on an equitable basis despite the growing diplomatic tensions between the two countries, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during the second day of his official visit to Iran.

Referring to his public row with Israeli President Shimon Peres over the deadly Gaza offensive at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Turkish prime minister said that his reaction was not planned beforehand and added that it was spontaneous. “It would be wrong to assume that my reaction in Davos was a stance against the West,” Erdoğan said. “One side of Turkey’s face is turned to the West while the other is to the East,” he added. [continued…]

Erdoğan rejects claims Turkey diverging from West

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday ruled out any shift in Turkey’s foreign policy orientation in the wake of a crisis with Israel over Gaza and increasing rapprochement with neighboring Iran, accused by the West of harboring aspirations to develop nuclear weapons.

Erdoğan, speaking during a visit to Tehran, said Turkey will not sacrifice its relations with the West for the sake of building alliances with the East. Erdoğan’s visit to Tehran, during which he defended Iran’s nuclear program as peaceful and Turkish officials announced a deal to explore natural gas in Iran’s South Pars basin, has added to Western concerns that Turkey might be forsaking its alliance with the West to pursue a leadership role in its neighborhood. [continued…]

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